NewsLocal News


Bear break-ins continue in Red Lodge

bear with cubs.PNG
Posted at 6:29 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 12:47:41-04

RED LODGE — The infamous bear burglar in Red Lodge has struck again, this time breaking into the vehicle of Gary and Peggy Toombs.

MTN reported the break-in and destruction of Mike and Maria Pilati's vehicle Thursday after it spent eight hours in the car.

After it got out, the mom and her three cubs ended up at the Toombs' residence, where history quickly repeated itself. This time though, the damage is much less severe.

"She was on one side of the car, trying to get into this door and yes, she got in. The sow ran around the vehicle when my husband ran outside and was banging on the rocks with a shovel in an attempt to scare it. She ran around and opened the driver's door. She knew what she was doing," said Peggy Toombs.

The vehicle suffered bite or claw marks to the door but it paled in comparison to what the Pilatis suffered when the bear totaled the vehicle.

Many Red Lodge residents have had sightings of the bears, and there's a strong sentiment there's more than one that's become familiar with the town.

"Many of my neighbors have talked about different size or different color bears that they've seen around here. There has to be more than one," Toombs said.

There have been multiple reports of dumpsters and trash cans being dumped over throughout the town and a few homes have been broken into as well. Residents have reported seeing mulitple bear traps in town to attempt to capture the bears. Despite the regular sightings of the new locals, Toombs hopes if they are caught, they're simply relocated.

"This is their home. They were here first and they're not doing anything wrong. I personally have never felt threatened by any bear around here and we've seen lots over the years around here. They're just doing what they can to survive," Toombs said.